Tug of War

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When working on a team. Your team is your first priority when it comes to success. You should commit to them and likewise, they should commit to you. Your commitment to each other is what glues you together as a team. Working together creates the best opportunity for success. Working against each other or in silos is a recipe for disaster and most likely the failure of your whole team.

The next stage of an organization when it is too big to be one team is when a team runs into trouble. You are now many teams working in relationship with one another. Each team must play their role to their best. Each team member must play their role for the success of the team. The teams’ success leads to the organization’s success.

The squeeze comes in when members of teams aren’t helping members of other teams succeed. When someone is not on your team, it is easy to see them as a distraction. They are pulling you away from your tasks and focus. Invading your time. Slowing down progress to your mission. It will seem easier to work around them or without them instead of involving them in the process for the greatest success.

We need each other, even when we are on different teams. We are still working together to succeed. We cannot succeed unless we are willing to involve more people than our team. We are all working for the same org, vision, and mission. Bringing in more voices from outside yourself with give a better result. More than success, there is excellence.

You will know the difference. Your team will know the difference. Your organization will know the difference.

How do you react to people on other teams than your own? What do others think of you when working with you? How do you leverage your skills and abilities for the success of others? How do you work with other people to leverage their skills and abilities for the success of your team and organization?

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Our cars’ tires must be aligned. They need to be set in such a way that they follow each other when they make turns. The front wheels turn in exact parallel motion. At the same time, and the back wheels are exactly parallel following the front wheels.

When our tires are out of alignment, there is extra stress on the car. The body, axles, wheels, and associated systems around the tires. The tires wear down quicker because the wear on the tires is more and different than it should be. And the real punch in the gut is the gas efficiency of the car goes down. Gas costs go up. The engine is working harder against the tires, and the tires are working against each other.

When what you believe and what you spend your does not line up. It is the same as four tires being out of alignment and working against each other. The engine is working extra hard to try and keep the car moving forward. You are working extra hard to make progress in your life. You are less efficient because you are out of alignment.

Likewise, when what you do lines up with what you believe.

And what you think lines up with what you do.

And believe and how you feel about the world lines up with what you think, do, and believe. Your efficiency is maximized and your impact is expanded.


They call it alignment for a car.

I call it centered for people.

Centered is when you are working on what you love. Nobody is afraid to come talk to you. Your emotions are exactly where they should be day to day and week to week.

Centered is when you are working on what you know is the right. Nobody is avoiding you because you are going to talk down to them and explain away their ideas.

Centered is when you are working on the project you believe in. Your friends want to come talk to you because they know you and they know what you stand for.

Centered is when you are doing what needs to be done. You can stop to talk to someone and make progress in a healthy way.

Do the people closest to you describe you as centered? Do you know what it would look like to be centered in your life? How can you be more centered? Who can help you see the blind spots in your own centeredness? Are you thoughts, beliefs, actions, and emotions all in alignment? Do you feel like you are working just as a hard and not making progress? What do you think, believe, do, and feel about your work? About your family? About your friends? What do these people think, believe, do, and feel about you?

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Same Team

When I get frustrated with people, I will start trying to explain why they did what they did or what their motivations are. I do not know their motivations for sure, I do not know what they are thinking for sure, I am not in their head. However, I am trying to assume I can get in their head.

I forget they are very different people than I am. They see the world through a different lens than I do. I forget they have very different life experiences than I do. I start to attribute my made up motives as their actual motives. Over time it goes from me trying to make it ok for them to have done something I dislike to their malicious intent.

The story I start telling myself is they are out to get me and we are not on the same team. I start to set myself against them because of the story in my head. I start to think they are colluding with the system to get rid of me and I forget.

I forget we are on the same team.

We are on the same team.

When I am on the same team as someone else, I am interested in their wellbeing. I have to stop telling myself the unhealthy stories and start having the hard conversations and working together.

Who are you telling stories about in your head? When was the last time you presented them with these stories? How can you work with these people you are frustrated with to get to the bottom of the stories you are telling yourself?



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Levitated Mass

Levitated Mass is a 340 ton boulder sculpted by Michael Heizer on the campus of Los Angeles County Museum of Art. For more information on it, use the link above to read up and learn about it. It catches my eye because it is such a serious undertaking. It is not a small feat to do anything from it. Much less, a man sculpted it and had the vision to move it to move it and get it positioned correctly, supported correctly, and safe for visitors. 

He could not have done this by himself. He needed help. Simply based on the idea of moving it, he could not have done it alone. Given the full spectrum of ideation to execution, he needed the help of so many other people. 

I resonate with the need to get help from other people. I am in the midst of a phase of life where my goals are larger than myself. My tasks are require more than I can give. The sum of my life does not fulfill the needs of the community I am in. I am forced to connect with other people. Use different teams than I am familiar with. I am forced to rely on people I have never relied on before and I am entrusted to execute at a higher level than I have ever asked of myself. 

I feel as if I am being called to develop teams to move the Levitated Mass in my own life. 

The beautiful part about the Levitated Mass is it is an insurmountable rock. You do not have to have the same 340 ton boulder as I do. Your boulder can be completely different and just as Earth shattering, if not more so. 

I am learning to ask for help in moving my boulder. I am learning who I can ask and who I cannot ask. I am learning how to ask people. I am learning to find new people to ask and I am learning to take charge.

What is your Levitated Mass? Whose help do you need in creating it?




Good friends. These sorts of people can never be replaced. These are the people I have been given in my life. These are the people who have truly made me a better person. They have propped me up when I have been falling down. They have sent me home when I needed to be away. They have celebrated with me when I have been doing well. These are the people I’m thankful for. These are the people I can never replace. These are the people I work to show and tell every day how much I love them and could never do life without them. Who are the people you love and could never do life without? Who are the people who make you a better person? How often do you tell them and show them how much they mean to you?